Compelling Reads

There are lots of great spiritual formation books out there — some wonderful, well-known books. I want to take a moment here to recommend three that have been very compelling and inspiring in my life. There not as well-known or highly marketed and you may not have heard of them, so I’m including them in my “Best-Kept Secrets” category. To me these books are valuable treasures, just waiting to be opened and absorbed.

1. Water My Soul: Cultivating the Interior Life by Luci Shaw. Shaw uses gardening as a metaphor for various aspects of the spiritual life. But Shaw, as a poet, speaks with beautiful lyrical language. She speaks candidly, honestly, and with great depth about Christian spirituality. This book inspired me greatly, particularly during the first 6 months as a new mom when other well-known spiritual disciplines books just left me depressed. This book isn’t about 35 things you must “do” — it is about being.

2. Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner. Winner, the author of the best-selling memoir Girl Meets God, here explores what Christians can learn from Jewish traditions and celebrations. This gave me a whole new perspective on holidays as holy-days; it helped me draw many new practices into my approach to my own spiritual formation. Her conversational tone is inviting and candid, like a coffee-shop chat with a trusted friend.

3. Practicing our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People, ed. by Dorothy Bass. This amazing book is a collection of essays by Christian leaders of various denominational stripes. Each chapter explores an important Christian practice, like Hospitality, Forgiveness, Keeping Sabbath, and Honoring the Body. The variety of voices and backgrounds provide this book with multi-faceted insight. This is one I plan to read again and again. 

Have you read these books? If not, I’d recommend them as a great place to start in your own journey of spiritual practices.

Have other books that are “best-kept secrets” you’d like to recommend? Add them to the comments section. I’d love to hear your ideas!

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